What is the Usefulness of a Good Mission Statement?


A mission statement is an important tool for organizations since it enhances understanding and integration of business operations; however, ineffective mission statements may lead to an organization’s downturn. In addition, mission declarations serve as a guide in decision-making, control mechanism, and motivation tool. A mission statement describes the purpose of a given institution by defining its goals and objectives. The analysis will discuss the role of the mission statement in fulfilling an organization’s commitments. Although mission identifies the main business of an institution, the effectiveness of mission statements has been criticized and praised in equal measure.

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The Effectiveness of Mission Statements

A mission statement guides an organization’s culture and defines its role in society. For instance, Times Mirror, an American print newspaper, defines its role under the mission statement, “Committed to gathering and disseminating the information people need to work, live and govern themselves in a free society” (Johnson 390). Thus,  the mission statement clearly defines the organization’s role. Therefore, the proclamation states standards and ethical practices allied to the goals of the company.

How Mission Statements Guide, Inspire, and Promote Ethical Behavior

Mission statements are controversial since some might be written for formal purposes. Critics argue that some employees are not aware of the concept of a mission statement, and hence, they rarely enforce or follow it. Still, workers may fail to observe guiding principles if the rationale of a company is not clear. However, proponents maintain that mission statements give the position of a firm to both outsiders and insiders of the organization. They guide, inspire, and encourage stakeholders to maintain ethical behavior that would support the organizational goals. Hence, employees have the responsibility of behaving ethically and committing efforts to their organization.

What Separates an Effective and an Ineffective Mission Statement?

Some organizations and companies have mission statements that do not align with their values. Declarations may not reflect the principles of the corporation, which would promote ethical behaviors. Therefore, some missions become ineffective since they do not reveal the purpose of an organization, goals to be met, geographical areas of operation, and goods and services offered. Ineffective statements do not encourage employees to challenge instructions when required. Hence, it is critical to creating a mission statement that would promote the purpose and goals of an organization while empowering employees and attracting customers.

Furthermore, a compelling statement should clearly define the rationale of an organization. The statement should promote values by providing guiding principles for all stakeholders. For a mission statement to be successful, a leader should identify the purpose of an organization, model the concept of a product or service, and enforce it to align with organizational objectives. Effective statements should support the goals of an organization and behaviors among stakeholders. Additionally, standards set under mission statements should sustain the purposes of a given business, define the organization’s role, and support the moral code of conduct among employees and customers. Additionally, a statement should describe the products offered and the relationship between the business and stakeholders. Hence, the mission statement must cover all major elements of business operations and provide a long-term vision.

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A mission statement provides a short description and purpose of a business and describes the direction a corporation should take when providing goods and services. An effective mission statement should guide a company’s operations. However, ineffective mission statements whose declarations do not align with the company’s goals may adversely affect business performance in the long-term perspective. It is worth noting that a mission statement should provide the purpose and identify the goals of an organization to employees and customers.


Work Cited

Johnson, Craig E. Organizational Ethics: A Practical Approach. Sage Publications, 2016.

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